Category: Restaurant Industry News

VSAG Client News: Farmers & Distillers Opens!

The reservation call center is busily up & running, the staff is trained and happily serving hungry guests, the booze is flowing, and yes, the doors are open. We’re thrilled to announce that our longtime client, Farmers Restaurant Group, has opened their latest venture. Located in the cool, culturally diverse Mt Vernon Square neighborhood in the heart of Washington, D.C. Farmers & Distillers is primed to be the next successful venture in this growing restaurant group. Along with sister restaurants, Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers, Farmers & Distillers continues the brand’s farmer-owned concept, but with a twist: this restaurant… read more

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5 Tectonic Shifts and Challenges Facing Restaurant Owners and Operators in 2017

As we move into 2017, our team is ready to take on new business and guide our established clients to successful restaurant and hospitality endeavors. An important part of our business practices is forecasting the trends we see as viable industry practices, ideas, and evolutions for the coming year. Our biggest callout? Sustainability. The importance of leaving this planet better than how we found it, is a continued, evolving source of interest, education, and involvement. Here are the Top Five Tectonic Shifts and Challenges We See Facing Restaurant Owners and Operators in 2017. Food Trend: Hand-Pulled Noodles. One of the most beloved,… read more

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VSAG Founder Dan Simons Speaks to Responding To Bad Reviews & Coming Out Stronger

For those of us who’ve been in the restaurant business for sometime, we’ve all been served a piece of humble pie a time or two (or three!). But what defines us is how we deal with negativity that is par for the course in this subjective service industry. Bad reviews, negative press, customer grievances, and the like are never a pleasure to read or hear, but there are lessons to be learned IF you’re willing to put your ego aside and listen, analyze, and make necessary changes in order to better your business. Take note. “We’re transparent about who we… read more

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From Sea to Shining Sea: We Support Sustainable Seafood

We’ve talked a lot about the state of sustainable seafood in the last few years. And what part overfishing, endangered fish selections, and in turn the importance of choosing seafood wisely within the food service industry, have played. Yup, we’re getting on-topic again. Because it needs to remain in our dialogue. Because we can continue to have a positive impact on the sustainable seafood movement if we make good choices. What does that mean, exactly? It means, continuing to educate ourselves through research and open conversation in order to make our sustainable seafood menu choices count. Really count. For us…. read more

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What are the Emerging Social Media Trends in the Restaurant Industry?

As restaurant operators and owners, we love exploring and leveraging technology to best guide our clients. We recently revealed our Top 5 Restaurant Apps & Platforms You Need to Bookmark Now, such as Pulse, GrubHub, and SinglePlatform. Now, we’re checking out the latest in social media.  Social media savvy is crucial for success in today’s marketplace. For example, looking to connect with specific target audiences? Facebook Ads is a great tool. Want concise, immediate, wide reaching promotion? Twitter is for you. Aiming to capitalize on social media’s power to network, capture new hires, and garner industry contacts? Check out Linkedin…. read more

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Culinary School vs. On The Job Training & Development

As we watch higher education rates within the culinary industry soar, we see eager, passionate young people yearning for a culinary career that may be prohibitive due to the costs of higher education. This important topic got our team thinking about – and debating – the notion of Culinary School vs. On The Job Training & Development. Is one path better than the other? The short answer is no. We believe that education is always a positive. But, where it takes place plays a big role in this debate: classroom vs. on the job training? To add some food for… read more

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Farming In America: Our Present. Our Future.

As restaurant consultants, we work closely with trusted purveyors, sources, and third parties to run our business and help our clients achieve their goals. Through our trusted sources, we’ve gotten familiar with, and passionate about, farming in America. As we observed the industry grow, we got in on the ground floor as the farming community moved into Main Street, USA. From organic farms and farmers markets to co-ops and farmer-owned restaurant concepts, sustainable harvests have become a mainstay for us. Our focus on Farming in America: Present & Future is three-fold. Here’s a look at what we see from our… read more

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The 5 Best Restaurant Apps of 2016 You Need to Download Today

Our staff loves being in the know. And, we might add, seeing their tips, tricks of the trade, and industry know-how highlighted here on our news blog pages. The focus today? Our team’s top go-to restaurant and hospitality industry apps & platforms. There are lots out there. In order to whittle it down to our team’s top-5 suggestions to get you started on your go-to list that’ll work within your business’s confines, our team offered up their favorites and we took it from there. 1) OpenTable. Aka the “big-daddy” of restaurant industry apps. Sure, maybe a slight overstatement but OpenTable… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Restaurant Industry Minimum Wage-DC Vote & Beyond

It was announced that Washington, D.C. is poised to join other cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, in increasing minimum pay wages to $15. In a unanimous City Council vote, set to be ratified next month, the wheels are in motion for legislature to gradually raise the District of Columbia’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Along with this increase in the minimum wage, is an increase in the “tipped minimum wage” from the current $2.77 per hour to $5.50 per hour. This is where the devil is in the details, unknown outcomes, and potential for unintended consequences. Tipped… read more

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VSAG on Seasonal Success: Top 3 Summer Menu Trends

Introducing seasonal ingredients, flavor profiles, and trends not only keeps menus interesting, but it also allows for more creativity in the kitchen. We discovered some seasonal trends we think are worth adding to your flavor profiles this summer. Wood-fire Cooking. Nothing says summer like some great, downhome bbq. And we couldn’t be more excited that the trend of authentic, rustic, wood-fire cooking is getting fired-up (yes, we went there!) this season. What’s not to love about the slow-roasted, natural, smoky flavor? Take your wood fire game up a notch by infusing flavors such as fruit woods like apple, apricot, and… read more

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